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The Bethlehem Shepherd-Boys' Tale

1. So happy all the day,
Had I been without play,
And such good thoughts had come o'er my mind,
That I wonder'd what it meant
Or for why it was sent,
As I ne'er had felt aught of the kind.

2. And the birds, all day long,
Had left trilling their song;
And the sun had gone down, oh, so red!
We had folded the sheep,
And were talking of sleep,
But somehow we cared not for bed.

3. The stars were all drest
In their brightest and best;
And the moon show'd a streak of her gold:
'Twas a glorious night;
And we thought of the sight
Of which David our father had told.

4. A sound struck our ear,
Sweet, joyous, and clear,
It seemed like a musical breeze:
But, ere we could gaze,
We were all in a blaze,
And found ourselves down on our knees.

5. A bright one then said,
('Twas like life from the dead,)
"Good tidings, good tidings I bring!
Messiah's come down;
In your own little town
You will find Him a Babe and a King!"

6. And then the whole choir,
Rising higher and higher,
Sand of "glory, sweet peace and good-will";
The sheep seemed to dance,
And the mountains to prance,
And the stars could no longer still.

7. Then onward we sped,
To find out the bed,
Where the Saviour in lowliness lay;
Near Bethlehem's inn,
(Oh shame on their sin!)
We found Him midst cattle and hay.

8. But we saw the blest sight;
'Twas our Judah's delight;
And Mary and Joseph were there:
And soon we made known
To all in the town
What we heard the good angel declare.

9. And now every day,
I sing and I pray
To the Babe who is Saviour and all:
May His wonderful birth
Be known through the earth,
And cheer both the great and the small!

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